Visiting Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary
Kelp Forest in Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary
During my time camping on the Channel Islands, I spent a few hours exploring the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary (CINMS) by kayak and snorkeling. My hope was to encounter a curious harbor seal while snorkeling. But wildlife has their own plans and rather seeing one while snorkeling we saw one resting while we kayaked.
Kayaking in Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary
Snorkeling in the CINMS was quite an adventure. Despite it being July, the water was frigid. I donned my 4/3mm wetsuit, hood, gloves, and neoprene socks to help stay warm. Due to the unusual swell action, the sand was a bit churned up, but there were pockets of great visibility in the kelp beds. My favorite encounter while snorkeling was with a Spanish Shawl nudibranch. It was the first time I saw a nudibranch and I couldn’t believe how incredibly bright this sea creature was. It sat in a bed of various marine plants, swaying back and forth with the current. The kelp forest towered above as I dove down to investigate the purple nudi in more detail. On one dive down to inspect the nudibranch, I saw a small octopus as well!
National Marine Sanctuaries are Entrusted to the American People
National Marine Sanctuary Foundation Prepares our Future Conservationists
Tips for visiting a National Marine Sanctuary
- Visit https://marinesanctuary.org/ to learn more about the sanctuaries and the foundation [nofollow link]
- Figure out what kind of activity you’d like to do (snorkeling, kayaking etc)
- Have the right gear for the planned activity ready to go, though you might be able to rent equipment at or near the sanctuary
- Look up local regulations or restrictions that may be in place due to COVID-19
SPARK YOUR SOUL. SEEK ADVENTURE. GET ON THE LIST.
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Daina - Founder of headedanywhere.com
Daina is the sunset and ocean obsessed photographer and writer behind underwater and adventure photography blog, Headed Anywhere, featuring photography tips and hacks to simplify your busy life.